An embarrassment of riches

MetalBoar

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As you may have read in another post, I recently moved to the Phoenix area and I was thinking about what @dvcochran and a couple of other people were saying about only having 2-3 schools in their towns. I'm not ready to start with a new school yet, with covid at a peak and Arizona being one of the worst places for it, but I have started looking at what is available near me in my new home for when it is a good time to get back into things.

I started out just Googling for martial art schools in general, knowing that I'd be missing a number of places that didn't have web sites or were just bad at getting noticed by Google. This got me too many results to really even start to narrow things down. Next I decided I'd look at schools within 30 minutes of my house - still too many to really evaluate so I cut it back to places within a 15 minute drive (plus maybe 1-2 minutes if it was an art I'm really interested in) and just opened them all up in their own tabs. That helped but wasn't yet manageable.

Next, I just closed all the Tai Chi tabs because I now live in the land of retired folks and it seems like every community center, health club, and exercise venue is offering some variation on "Tai Chi for Health!" and I didn't even want to get started trying to sort through all that. Even though there were a number of Aikido schools that looked reputable I cut them all out because I've done a lot of Aikido and related arts and it isn't what I'm looking for right now. Then I cut the kenpo/kajukenbo schools for similar reasons. Modern Wushu was next to go, unless they explicitly offered Sanda/Shuai Jiao classes. At that point I spent a little time looking at the remaining sites and arbitrarily closed any school's tab that looked like it was focused on kids classes or just fitness, was too self aggrandizing, didn't tell me about the instructor, or used one of the generic, boiler plate web site designs that you can find in every city for every art. I'm guessing there were some good schools that got dropped in the process but you've got to start somewhere.

After all that I'm down to an even 20 schools on my list to check out, which still seems like a lot to visit once the 'rona is over, or even to just post on here and ask for people's opinions. I'm left with 5 BJJ schools that look good to my inexpert eye, 3 MMA gyms of varying flavors, 3 Wing Chun schools, 2 Okinawan Karate dojos (1 seems questionable and almost failed my "Self Aggrandizing" filter but I've been interested in traditional Okinawan Karate for a while so I left it in ), 2 Judo dojos, 1 Sanda school, 1 Muay Thai school, 1 TKD school, 1 Capoeira, and 1 catch wrestling school. Some of these schools teach other arts that I have a lesser interest in as well. None of this includes a Xing Yi school that I want to check out, @geezer for Wing Chun and FMA, the Filipino MA clubs that I've been looking at, or a couple of other places that are outside my 15 minute limit that I might be willing to drive a little extra to try out.

I'm not complaining but it's hard to know where to start!
 

Flying Crane

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Paralyzed with indecision. So many choices, it is impossible to act.

Sounds like what I encountered when I first moved to San Francisco. It is nice to have options.
 

Buka

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You'll be okay, Boar. Best thing in life a person can have is a choice, and yes, I know you know that. But, sometimes having too many can lead to paralysis by analysis. Don't let that dog bite you.

I'd start with the closest ones to you that you haven't already eliminated. Work outwards from there, and have fun doing it. :)
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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A really cool ted talk on the subject.
The paradox of choice

Basically amounts to not only paralysis by analysis, but sometimes when you have too many choices, you're less happy with your ultimate goal then if you had too little. It forces a 'grass is greener over there' mentality on you, IMO.
 

Steve

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A really cool ted talk on the subject.
The paradox of choice

Basically amounts to not only paralysis by analysis, but sometimes when you have too many choices, you're less happy with your ultimate goal then if you had too little. It forces a 'grass is greener over there' mentality on you, IMO.
Was thinking about the same thing.

@MetalBoar I don't know much about the schools in that area, but I believe that Giva Santana has an affiliate (One Jiu Jitsu) in the area. He's top tier, and anyone under that affiliation is going to offer great BJJ instruction.

Edit: Looks like there are two. Siege MMA in Peoria and DeBoa Jiu Jitsu in Surprise. I don't know these guys personally, but if they're affiliated with Giva, I am very confident that they teach high level, technical BJJ.
 
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MetalBoar

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@MetalBoar I don't know much about the schools in that area, but I believe that Giva Santana has an affiliate (One Jiu Jitsu) in the area. He's top tier, and anyone under that affiliation is going to offer great BJJ instruction.[/QUOTE]

I think I found the school you're talking about, unfortunately, it is just about as far from me as you can get and still be in the Phoenix metropolitan area, just over an hour, one way, without traffic.
 

Steve

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I think I found the school you're talking about, unfortunately, it is just about as far from me as you can get and still be in the Phoenix metropolitan area, just over an hour, one way, without traffic.
yeah, that's one of them. I think Siege MMA is in the valley, as well.
 

CB Jones

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You might check out Paradise Valley Karate.

They do focus on kids alot but I think they have a decent amount of adults that also train there.

We compete against them alot in tournaments and they typically have a pretty strong group.
 
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MetalBoar

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yeah, that's one of them. I think Siege MMA is in the valley, as well.
Yep, I found them too. They're a little closer, but unfortunately still west valley and I'm in north Mesa so very east.

Thanks!
 
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MetalBoar

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You might check out Paradise Valley Karate.

They do focus on kids alot but I think they have a decent amount of adults that also train there.

We compete against them alot in tournaments and they typically have a pretty strong group.
Thanks!

They do look like they might have pretty good adult classes. They are right at the edge of how far I might be willing to drive but now that they have a solid recommendation I'll add them to my list.
 

CB Jones

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Thanks!

They do look like they might have pretty good adult classes. They are right at the edge of how far I might be will to drive but now that they have a solid recommendation I'll add them to my list.

They are good people. We have made friends with alot of them.

It's traditional style karate but before covid they were starting to dabble with some Kali as well.
 
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MetalBoar

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They are good people. We have made friends with alot of them.

It's traditional style karate but before covid they were starting to dabble with some Kali as well.
Yeah, I noticed that on their website, which is cool because I've done a little Kali in the past and it's high on the list of things I'd like to do more of in the future. Good stuff!
 
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MetalBoar

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Anyone know anything about Peter Pena? I see that he is/was teaching Hung Gar through the City of Gilbert rec centers, which would be pretty close to me, and when I was trying to look him up online I ran across this thread on Martial Talk that says he teaches Bak Mei and Southern Dragon. Coincidentally, they are two of the arts I just listed on another thread as things I would train in if I could do anything I had never tried before. Hung Gar is also something I've been interested in as well.
 
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MetalBoar

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You'll be okay, Boar. Best thing in life a person can have is a choice, and yes, I know you know that. But, sometimes having too many can lead to paralysis by analysis. Don't let that dog bite you.

I'd start with the closest ones to you that you haven't already eliminated. Work outwards from there, and have fun doing it. :)
Oh yeah, I'd rather have to choose than not have any good options.

Starting close and moving out from there seems great, though I'll put a couple of my top picks at the head of the list regardless of distance. There's a 10th Planet BJJ affiliate within walking distance of my new place and even though BJJ isn't at the top of my list and I'm not sure I want to do no gi exclusively I feel like I've got to at least check out something that's so close I don't even have to get in the car.
 

dvcochran

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As you may have read in another post, I recently moved to the Phoenix area and I was thinking about what @dvcochran and a couple of other people were saying about only having 2-3 schools in their towns. I'm not ready to start with a new school yet, with covid at a peak and Arizona being one of the worst places for it, but I have started looking at what is available near me in my new home for when it is a good time to get back into things.

I started out just Googling for martial art schools in general, knowing that I'd be missing a number of places that didn't have web sites or were just bad at getting noticed by Google. This got me too many results to really even start to narrow things down. Next I decided I'd look at schools within 30 minutes of my house - still too many to really evaluate so I cut it back to places within a 15 minute drive (plus maybe 1-2 minutes if it was an art I'm really interested in) and just opened them all up in their own tabs. That helped but wasn't yet manageable.

Next, I just closed all the Tai Chi tabs because I now live in the land of retired folks and it seems like every community center, health club, and exercise venue is offering some variation on "Tai Chi for Health!" and I didn't even want to get started trying to sort through all that. Even though there were a number of Aikido schools that looked reputable I cut them all out because I've done a lot of Aikido and related arts and it isn't what I'm looking for right now. Then I cut the kenpo/kajukenbo schools for similar reasons. Modern Wushu was next to go, unless they explicitly offered Sanda/Shuai Jiao classes. At that point I spent a little time looking at the remaining sites and arbitrarily closed any school's tab that looked like it was focused on kids classes or just fitness, was too self aggrandizing, didn't tell me about the instructor, or used one of the generic, boiler plate web site designs that you can find in every city for every art. I'm guessing there were some good schools that got dropped in the process but you've got to start somewhere.

After all that I'm down to an even 20 schools on my list to check out, which still seems like a lot to visit once the 'rona is over, or even to just post on here and ask for people's opinions. I'm left with 5 BJJ schools that look good to my inexpert eye, 3 MMA gyms of varying flavors, 3 Wing Chun schools, 2 Okinawan Karate dojos (1 seems questionable and almost failed my "Self Aggrandizing" filter but I've been interested in traditional Okinawan Karate for a while so I left it in ), 2 Judo dojos, 1 Sanda school, 1 Muay Thai school, 1 TKD school, 1 Capoeira, and 1 catch wrestling school. Some of these schools teach other arts that I have a lesser interest in as well. None of this includes a Xing Yi school that I want to check out, @geezer for Wing Chun and FMA, the Filipino MA clubs that I've been looking at, or a couple of other places that are outside my 15 minute limit that I might be willing to drive a little extra to try out.

I'm not complaining but it's hard to know where to start!
Sounds like you have your work cut out but you definitely have a solid plan. I don't really have any advise beyond what you already have mapped out. My only thought was if you have a definite "this is my max drive time", that is the circle I would start the filter(s) in. It would be a shame to later find you missed a good one.
That said, you can always factor out the demographics you have set now and later use the outer perimeter as the starting circumference for your next search.
I hope you find what you are looking for and keep us up to date.
 
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MetalBoar

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Sounds like you have your work cut out but you definitely have a solid plan. I don't really have any advise beyond what you already have mapped out. My only thought was if you have a definite "this is my max drive time", that is the circle I would start the filter(s) in. It would be a shame to later find you missed a good one.
That said, you can always factor out the demographics you have set now and later use the outer perimeter as the starting circumference for your next search.
I hope you find what you are looking for and keep us up to date.
Yeah, I definitely agree with the part in bold. Especially since I haven't found any of the arts that I'm most excited about within a 15 minute drive. I'm looking to see if there are any arts that really top my list within a vaguely reasonable distance and plan to check them out and see if the instruction looks good. Then I can compare those to the schools that are close by and see how it all compares.
 
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MetalBoar

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Catch wrestling is I believe with Potenza as he is from Arizona and has schools out there and is from Billy Robinson's line, I would train with them if I was there as it is hard to find a good catch wrestling school. You can look it up at

Catch As Catch Can – History Tradition & Technique
Yep, it would be one of the affiliate schools and in fact looking at the list on that site there are a couple of schools within a reasonable distance. Unfortunately, the headquarters school would be about a 90 minute drive so that's pretty much out of the question. I've heard some good things about catch as catch can wrestling and have wanted to check it out so it's good to know that these guys probably have a legit background anyway.
 

Tenshin

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Yep, it would be one of the affiliate schools and in fact looking at the list on that site there are a couple of schools within a reasonable distance. Unfortunately, the headquarters school would be about a 90 minute drive so that's pretty much out of the question. I've heard some good things about catch as catch can wrestling and have wanted to check it out so it's good to know that these guys probably have a legit background anyway.
One of his affiliates is legit, I have talked with John before he is a nice guy, Catch is definitely an interesting art, you can also do zoom private classes with john and he does have an online academy and videos.
 
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